American singer-songwriter/producer Barry Manilow's former wife has spoken for the first time after reports emerged that he married his manager and long-time partner Garry Kief in a secret wedding last year.

Susan Deixler was married to the Copacabana singer in 1964, but their union only lasted a year.

"I wish him well. I'm happy for him. I'm glad that he's found love and happiness," she told the Daily Mail.

"What happened between us, our relationship, is ancient history and I don't want to dig back into ancient history. It's 50 years ago. You have to remember that I'm not a celebrity. I have children, a life...all that was a long time ago.

"I'm a private person but I'm happy for him. I really am," Deixler added.

Manilow, who has always remained tight lipped about his sexuality, called himself a "private guy" in an interview with The Telegraph in 2012.

"You can only come into my world if I invite you in," he said. "From the very beginning that was the rule. I learnt how to deal with the publicity/press thing. You just say, 'I'm not interested in talking about [that].' Even the names of my dogs! They are my kids, my friends are my friends and my family, they are mine. That's the only way I can survive. I have to keep that to me. I don't want strangers knowing everything. If that happened, that would drive me crazy."